Over the 4th of July weekend Pierce county hospitals saw numerous individuals for severe stings.
“Five people have been hospitalized due to anaphylactic shock from bee or wasp stings, and that’s an unusual number,” said Joby Winans of the Pierce County Health Department.
Hospital officials stated it is normal to see one or two bee sting victims a year, to see so many in one week is very unusual. Public health officials have taken notice.
With what appears to be a healthy population of Yellow Jackets and Bees this year in the Pacific Northwest be sure to be prepared for treating your pets in case of a sting.
Below is an excerpt of the AKC Pet First Aid Advisory:
Bee and Wasp Stings can be painful and frightening for a dog. Follow these procedures if your dog is stung:
- Carefully remove the stinger with tweezers, if possible. (Only bees leave stingers.)
- Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the area.
- Apply an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain.
- Comfort the dog until the pain has diminished.
Usually a single sting does not present a serious problem. If the sting is on the nose, mouth or around the head, watch your dog carefully to make sure that any swelling does not interfere with breathing or swallowing. If the swelling increases dramatically just a few minutes after the sting, see a veterinarian immediately.
Multiple stings can cause more damage, and may be life-threatening. If you see your dog disturb a hive or swarm of wasps or bees, call the dog to you and run, or, if necessary, pick up your dog and carry it away. Try to put distance between your dog and the swarm as quickly as possible. Once you and the dog are safe, get medical attention as soon as possible.
If possible, give antihistamines to your dog right away (Your veterinarian can give you a supply for your dog’s first aid kit, and advise you on dosage and administration). Then take your dog to the closest veterinarian. Treatment for massive stings usually involves intravenous catheterization, the administration of fluids, giving of corticosteroids and monitoring of vital signs. The goal of treatment is to prevent shock and circulatory collapse and to minimize damage to organ systems.